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Apr 30, 2005 07:37 PM

Best Coffee in LA?

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Looking for the best cup o' joe (in store service, not interested in buying beans) in town. Please no Coffee Bean, Charbux, and I know about Urth (fave so far). Thx!

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  1. I like Peet's, especially in latte format. Tried Tremezzino and Le Pain Quotidien and they are both awful. But I will be watching for input from others.

    14 Replies
    1. re: carter

      Am a big Peet's fan as well, the Brentwood outlet on San Vicente has a good staff and the coffee is 1st rate. They also get their pasteies from La Brea Bakery whic is a plus in my book.

      1. re: Tusc

        Irth Cafe has good coffee. City Bean though rarely found is good.

        1. re: mc michael

          I meant Urth Cafe.

          1. re: mc michael

            I love groundworks in Venice.

            Especially their cafe mocha. best i have had in LA.

            1. re: tim

              Still a stalwart for Il Tramezzino, the original Beverly Drive location. A sweet, sweet pull.

              1. re: condiment

                Well I can only drink decaf, but I've always liked the Green Room when im in Hollywood.

                Green Room
                6752 Hollywood Blvd.


            2. re: mc michael

              As I had mentioned in the original post, I know about Urth, so, uh, thanks...I was hoping for non-chains (eliminating Peet's), maybe something distinctively LA. But we aren't really a coffe town, are we?

              1. re: Adsvino
                Pudding Bucket

                Casbah Cafe on Sunset in Silver Lake makes a great coffee. I've had to give specific instructions to one barista who has no clue about ratio and proportion when it comes to steamed milk and coffee but the other 4 baristas know exactly what they're doing.

                Zona Rosa in Pasadena near the Landmark Theater just off Colorado serves up gourmet Mexican beans and chocolate. The baristas are friendly and know what they're doing for the most part.

                Cafe Mi Cultura, on Hollywood Blvd. on the Western edge of Thaitown, serves up a great coffee now and then but it's unreliable.

                Swork in Eagle Rock has a cultish following. It's got a good coffeehouse feel but sometimes it seems that novelty drinks take priority over good roasts.

                The Coffee Table in Silver Lake and Eagle Rock also have loyal followings but I think their coffee drinks are weak. As proof they use enormous economy cans of Hershey's syrup in their mochas.

                1. re: Pudding Bucket
                  Pudding Bucket

                  I almost forgot Chango Coffee in Echo Park! I like their mochas but I haven't been in a while since it's not on my way to work. But it's a nice space w/ a good eastside crowd.


                  1. re: mc michael

                    Saw it, but 1) Would like to not have to drive to Claremont, and
                    2) Don't always agree with Gold (i.e. Lola's Peruvian)

                      1. re: mc michael

                        The number one coffee house in the "Cup o' Joe" survey is Catalina Coffee in Redondo Beach. I agree that it has a great atmosphere and good food. But, the three times I was there, I had awful coffee. I had espresso once and lattes twice. Has anyone had a good drink here

              2. re: mc michael

                I know you can get City Bean coffee at Fred 62 on Vermont/Franklin.

          2. Know you don't want Peet's, but it is definitely the best.

            One neat little place is the Conservatory in Culver City, near downtown on Washington (or maybe Culver, that area is confusing where all the streets merge.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Scooty

              I agree, the foam is like velvet.

            2. Only place I've had coffee worth a darn here is at Groundworks. I will say that my last couple of drinks there were not as good as a couple of months ago. It still isn't in the league of the best places in the country but it's tolerable. I have very high standards and roast my own coffee at home. Many people like the Coffee Conservatory on Washington Blvd. in Culver City (accross from Sony) but I haven't had good luck there. Groundworks link is below, since I like their philosophy of sustainable organic coffee.


              4 Replies
              1. re: mobleyfan

                So - where is/are the retail outlets for Groundwork? They seem to have a roasting operation mid city on Venice Blvd, but where do they brew and sell cups 'o goodness?

                Looks like a great place to patronize...


                1. re: AltadenaJack

                  1501 N. Cahuenga in Hollywood. Will try Monday AM and report back.


                  1. re: AltadenaJack

                    I've been to the Cahuenga location and the main street Santa Monica location (which is VERY tiny).

                  2. re: mobleyfan

                    Thanks to the genius of Mobleyfan and the rest of the hounds I now have a nearby place to get a great cup. Just got back from the Groundworks on Cahuenga. Didn't mention in the original post that I like lattes, etc., but to me the test of great coffe shop is their drip coffee, so that is what I usually drink on a daily basis.

                    Most of the offenders are either burnt, too extracted and dark (where milk doesn't even help), or too bland. I had the Rwandan coffee (yep, new to me, too) today at Groundworks and, as the barista said, it is very balanced. Not too dark, but sweet, rich and flavorful.
                    A truly great cup, and they sell the beans. thanks again!


                  3. Citybean (LA mag best of LA and Zagat best buy) which is a micro roaster provides coffee to Susina (I think the price beats Starbucks next door). The Starbucks employees go next door to Susina to have coffee!

                    Susina is at Beverly west of LaBrea.

                    I know they provide to other high end places but not sure where. Citybean is in Westwood but not sure if they serve a cup o' joe or just beans.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Food Good

                      Just to add to the last post, Citybean does serve coffee in their shop. Enjoy!

                      1. re: Food Good

                        Yes, City Bean does sell coffee by the cup, and it is truly not even close to the coffee across the street at Peet's, IMHO! Used to be better when the founders still operated the retail store, but that was at least 2 owners before. Think the founders still control the wholesale side though.

                      2. There is a place called Cafe in WLA at the cross section of Rochester and SM Blvd, just 1/4 block east of Centinela. Their only coffee comes from either the espresso machine or a coffee siphon... a strange brewing device invented by the french which uses some intricate glassware and schoolbook physics to brew your coffee just below the temperature of boiling in an impressive display by your seat. This is a really nice space to enjoy a cup. It's hours are about 2-10pm.